News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
7/21/2017

Healthy lifestyle habits, such as not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, could increase a person's lifespan by five to seven years, researchers reported in Health Affairs. The added longevity comprised years of good health without physical limitations, and they underscore the importance of prevention, the authors said.

7/21/2017

A study in the journal Health Psychology found people who believed they exercised less than their peers had a higher risk of death over 21 years than those who felt they worked out more. Researchers suggested the placebo effect may be a factor or that social comparisons demotivate people to exercise.

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National Public Radio
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Health Psychology
7/21/2017

A study found both the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, or MIND, diet and the Mediterranean diet may help protect cognition in older adults, researchers reported at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference. Another study found dietary patterns associated with the MIND diet were linked to a lower risk for probable dementia, and a third report said adherence to a Nordic diet was also associated with preserved cognitive function.

7/21/2017

Taking clindamycin, doxycycline, quinolones, macrolides and phenoxymethylpenicillin during the first trimester of pregnancy might increase the risk of major congenital and organ-specific malformations in infants; but the association was not seen with amoxicillin, cephalosporins or nitrofurantoin, researchers reported in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. The researchers analyzed data on all pregnancies covered by Quebec Public Prescription Drug Insurance from 1998 to 2008, which involved about 140,000 infants, and found that the absolute risk associated with antibiotics was small but suggested that clinicians prescribe the safest antibiotics possible.

7/21/2017

Americans will have fewer places to ask for help when signing up for coverage through public insurance exchanges after the Trump administration terminated contracts that provided Affordable Care Act enrollment assistance in libraries, businesses and neighborhoods in 18 cities. The move will make it more difficult for the uninsured and those already enrolled to shop for a new policy amid consumer confusion arising from the debate in Washington, D.C., and a shorter enrollment period, consumer groups say.

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Trump administration, ACA
7/21/2017

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 22 million more Americans would lose insurance coverage by 2026 than under the Affordable Care Act if the revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act were signed into law, the same as projected by the CBO for the initial version of the bill. An amendment proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, which would allow insurers to sell non-ACA-compliant plans as long as they also sell compliant plans was not included in the analysis, so experts say the score doesn't reflect the full impact of the bill.

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CBS News, The Hill
7/21/2017

Senate Republican leaders are aiming for a Tuesday vote on starting debate on their health care overhaul legislation. GOP lawmakers are urging their colleagues to support the procedural measure and then force votes on amendments they feel are necessary.

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ABC News
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GOP, Senate
7/21/2017

HR firm TriNet redesigned its Lakewood Ranch, Fla., office around productivity, culture and workplace wellness. Joe Bush, vice president of sales, said creating the right atmosphere for collaboration included gamification, a collaboration center and the TriNet fuel center that offers healthy snacks.

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TriNet, Lakewood Ranch
7/21/2017

Intermountain Healthcare's Logan Regional Hospital in Utah is phasing out sales of candy and sugar-sweetened beverages from its vending machines, cafeteria and pharmacies. Communications specialist Lance Frazier said the hospital is making the change to help improve public health, including the burden of prediabetes and diabetes.

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Utah Public Radio
7/21/2017

PBMs keep prescription drug costs low for consumers and employers, writes Pharmaceutical Care Management Association President and CEO Mark Merritt. Legislation being considered in California calls for new mandates that the Federal Trade Commission says could increase the amount consumers, employers, and public programs pay for prescription drugs, Merritt writes.